Dickens turns 28.

Charles Dickens’s 28th birthday was on 7 February 1840.


Victoria marries Albert.

Queen Victoria marries Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in the Chapel Royal of St. James’s Palace, London.

April (early).

Master Humphrey's Clock

Master Humphrey’s Clock.

First issue of Master Humphrey’s Clock is published on 4 April 1840. A weekly periodical edited and written entirely by Charles Dickens, it will continue until December 1841.

April (late).

Master Humphrey's Clock

Old Curiosity Shop.

The Old Curiosity Shop is published weekly in Master Humphrey’s Clock between April 1840 and February 1841.


New Parliament building.

Foundation stone for the new Houses of Parliament is laid. In October 1834, fire had destroyed most of the rambling complex of buildings at the Palace of Westminster, many dating back to medieval times.


Penny Black.

The world’s first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system, the Penny Black, goes on sale.


Courvoisier hanged.

Charles Dickens, along with friend William Makepeace Thackeray, attend the public hanging of François Benjamin Courvoisier outside Newgate Prison.


Railway regulation.

The Railway Regulation Act (1840) comes into force, an attempt to regulate the fast-growing railway industry in the United Kingdom. The Act included the setting up of a railway inspectorate.


Broadstairs break.

Charles Dickens and his family spend the month at the Kent town of Broadstairs.